Venice: August 1600

Pages 421-423

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 9, 1592-1603. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1897.

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August 1600

Aug. 2. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 904. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
To leave the Proveditore free to pursue pirates I hired an excellent English ship of seven hundred tons for seven hundred and thirty ducats. It is to take me to Chios, six hundred miles away.
Zante, 2nd August 1600.
Aug. 8. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 905. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Up to the twentieth of last month the congress at Boulogne had not begun its labours, but had merely removed certain difficulties; for at the very outset an objection was taken to the title of the Archduke in the commission of the Queen's Envoys and it was corrected, so that where “Most Illustrious” was employed, “Most Serene” was substituted as demanded; to which the Queen assented. On behalf of Spain only Don Balthazar de Zuniga appeared, but not Don Fernando Carriglio as named in the commission; but the Archduke proved that he was authorized to appoint substitutes whenever he pleased.
After this the English demanded precedence on the ground that originally the ancient Kings of England always held a place above the Kings of Spain. It was only in the days of Ferdinand and Isabella that Pope Alexander VI, who was a Spaniard, decided in favour of Spain. But Julius II., on the authority of Velaterrano, a famous writer, intended to reinstate the Kings of England, and he made it clear that it was his opinion and his will that they should have the upper place. Besides this they added that the English Ambassador, who is one of the Commissioners, cannot in France give the pas to any save Sovereign Princes, and that therefore he ought to have precedence of all the other Envoys none of whom hold so high a rank from their sovereign.
On the other hand it is urged that it is unreasonable that precedence should be yielded to a Queen, mistress merely of England and Ireland, which are islands, by a King who is master of so many Kingdoms and Provinces, all of which are named. Information was sent to the Queen, who gave orders that some sort of compromise should be discovered, to allow the conference to begin with any prejudice to her claims and precedence. The Spanish took time to reply; finally they begged the others to consent to the despatch of an emissary to the Archduke to bring back a final decision in fourteen days. The Audientiary was accordingly sent to his Highness. The date for his return to Boulogne was the twentieth of last month, but he had not appeared. The excuse urged is the important engagement which took place with the Dutch some days ago. Secretary Edmondes, on the other hand, went to England to report to the Queen; but he has returned. It is thought that two or three months will have to pass before anything can be concluded. As regards the point of precedence, it is thought that it will be decided in this way, that they will cast lots for which Envoys shall be first to visit the others, where those who visit are honoured with the first place, as is the custom; and thus they will continue.
Lyons, 8th August 1600.
Aug. 12. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 906. Agostino Nani, Venetian Ambassador elect in Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
I made the journey from Zante to this place in eight days and got here three days ago. I had hoped to go on in the English vessel as far as the Dardanelles, and the captain was content, but a furious north wind sprang up. These winds are wont to last all this month and sometimes much longer. I intended to pass into Anatolia and thence by Brusa to Saitlari, but the roads are not very safe, and it is, moreover, difficult to find sufficient horses for the carriages.
Chios, 12th August 1600.
Aug. 13. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 907. Feancesco Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Audientiary deputed to the Archduke Albert, has returned to Boulogne with the answer of Spain on the question of precedence; namely that his Catholic Majesty insisted upon having the precedence, and would allow no compromise. When the Queen of England heard this she ordered her commissioners to withdraw, as all negotiations were broken off. It is thought that they have left for England.
Lyons, 13th August 1600.
Aug. 16. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 908. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
They continue to show regret for the advice given to the King to refuse to sign the Peace of Vervins on account of the title of King of Navarre, given to the King of France. The King of France will not easily he persuaded to change anything, all the more because he gives this title of Navarre to the King of Spain.
Madrid, 16th August 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 25. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 909. Francesco Soranzo, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The negotiations for peace with England, which are going on at Boulogne, seem very cold. The Spanish Envoys are loud in their complaints of the French who, as was to be expected, do much to trouble the undertaking.
Madrid, 25th August 1600.
[Italian; deciphered.]
Aug. 26. Original Despatch, Venetian Archives. 910. Giovanni Mocenigo, Venetian Ambassador in Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
The courier brings news that the King of Spain has sent orders to his Envoys who are negotiating a peace with England, that they are to break off all dealings unless the Queen will assent to these three conditions, the restitution of the places she holds in Flanders, the abandonment of her support of the Catholic States, the grant of precedence to his Catholic Majesty.
Rome, 26th August 1600.